My Travel Coffee Setup, 2012 edition

Stuff & Things,Travel & Adventure — Sean Bonner @ 3:38 pm
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A few years ago I wrote about my quest for the perfect travel coffee setup. I travel a lot, I like good coffee, so ensuring that I can have good coffee when I travel is kind of important. Since then I’ve been pretty much sticking to that same set up – Kitchen scale, Porelex grinder, V60, Kettle… It’s served me well but it’s not small and that’s always bugged me as I like to travel as light and compact as possible. I’ve messed with some minor variations (collapsing fake V60, etc) to no avail. For 2012 I decided to throw caution to the wind and start from scratch.

People keep raving about the AeroPress – especially in travel situations. I’ve resisted because frankly the shitty to delicious ratio for cups of coffee I’ve had from this device leans heavily on the shitty side. But I decided to give it a shot. If there’s any way I’m going to force myself to figure it out, it’s in a hotel room on the otherside of the world at 3am when Jetlag is making me surely.

Moving to the AeroPress means the slow pour kettle is no longer needed, which is actually the biggest motivator here for me as that’s the most obnoxious thing to try and fit in a suitcase.

Scale wise I switched the the larger countertop model I had to a higher end pocket sized guy that a friend gave me a while back but I hadn’t made much use of.

I’m sticking with the Porlex Hand Grinder because it’s really the best option out there for a hand grinder. I’ve tried everything, trust me, this is the one to get. However, since it’s *exactly* the right size to fit inside the AeroPress, and I can grind right into it I went ahead and pulled off the bottom part where grinds are usually collected.

I also have one of those wacky metal AeroPress filters so that I don’t need to worry about paper ones, but honestly I might not be able to put up with the silt so I’m bringing a couple paper ones just in case.

As you can see, all compacted that’s a pretty small load. Actually the bag of coffee beans I’ll be bringing takes up more space in my bag. At least those get used and don’t have to be brought home.

I’m heading off to Japan tomorrow and will give this a test drive over the next week. I’m excited about trying something new, really excited about how much smaller this set up is, but a bit nervous that the AeroPress will turn my delicious beans into crap. Fingers crossed.

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7 Comments »

  1. Why don’t you just drink instant coffee?

    It is exactly as good as grinding your own beans. In fact, better, because the beans are likely fresher at the time they are ground at the plant.

    Better still, Starbucks Via!

    Comment by Christoph — February 2, 2012 @ 7:04 am
  2. What is your weight to volume you use for weight of beans to amount of water?
    Do you weigh the beans before grinding (I guess the weight after grinding shouldn’t be different, but in my mind it is)?

    And really, instant coffee? Starbucks Via? I assume that’s a friend of yours trying to get under your skin.

    Comment by Lime D. Zeze — February 2, 2012 @ 8:38 am
  3. Via!!

    ha.

    Lime, 18g/100g is what I go for and yeah, weigh first and then grind right in…

    Comment by Sean Bonner — February 2, 2012 @ 8:56 am
  4. Got the Porlex. Thanks for the tip. Really liking it.

    Comment by Johannes Kleske — February 21, 2012 @ 8:59 am
  5. Sean,

    What scale are you using? And what is your assessment of the aeropress post-Japan trip? I use a similar travel set-up but end up not following the aeropress instructions to brew and then dilute but rather brew more or less a 12.8g/ml ratio. I also swapped out the kettle for an immersion heater (basically a $2 ceramic with resistance that plugs in). Not ideal — the water temp varies a bit — but certainly easier to travel with.

    Comment by Mark Lundy — March 26, 2012 @ 12:36 pm
  6. So how did it go? I bought an Aeropress but was really disappointed in the finished product. I gifted it to a friend (the one who recommended it to me in the first place), and went running back to my Clever Coffee Dripper… the full immersion brewing system that is a lovely pourover. I love it. After years of buying lame machines, and not being able to personally perfect my French Press method, I’ll never be without the pourover option! It’s not tiny, but it also doesn’t take up too much space when traveling.

    Comment by MP — March 28, 2012 @ 8:38 am
  7. What brand scale do you use?

    Comment by Jack oswald — April 16, 2012 @ 5:13 am

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